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Europe's Never-Ending Constitution

On October 29, leaders of the European Union will gather in Rome to sign the Union's new Constitutional Treaty. Praise for the document's uniqueness will undoubtedly be heard, and in this they won't be boasting, because the EU Constitution is unlike any other constitution ever written.

Most constitutions - including the American one - aspire to "freeze history," or to set up a lasting institutional order that will resist the winds of change. Indeed, a constitution is by its nature an attempt to "tame" history, to make it follow the laws of man rather than its own logic, including unwelcome contingencies and the whims of fate.